Monday, November 29, 2004

Crude, But Effective

Friday night a Greek oil tanker ripped itself open in the Delaware River in South Philly. By yesterday over 30,000 gallons of Venezuelan crude had leaked into a relatively tiny area of the river near the mouths of some small creeks, and hundreds of birds and other wildlife had already died. The spill occurred right next to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, and only a torrential downpour of rains saved the refuge from inundation by the oil. In a revealing paragraph, the NYT story goes on to say that:
"The Heinz refuge contains Pennsylvania's largest freshwater tidal marsh - a delicate type of ecosystem - although the threat of fossil fuel contamination is nothing new here. In February 2000, a pipeline that runs through the refuge burst, unleashing more than 190,000 gallons of oil, Dr. Stolz said."

Something to bear in mind when the development-minded begin pushing for a pipeline through ANWR.

BTW, animals are being brought to the Tinicum refuge and washed with dish detergent in attempts to save their life. It's worth knowing that Dawn Dishwashing Liquid donates tons of gallons to refuges and other rescue organizations to save the animals victimized by oil spills, and has been doing so for years. For that alone, they deserve your dollars when you next go to the store. In the meantime, people have been asked to report any problems they see:

"The public is asked to report any effect on fish, wildlife or the environment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission at 215-365-1558."


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